Apprentices at the University of Glasgow today marked the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay.
During a visit to the site of the University’s £1 billion Campus Development Programme, Mr Mackay welcomed the launch of an Apprentice Committee.
The Committee, which has been set up by the University’s principal contractor, Multiplex, held its first meeting following the visit. It will provide a platform for apprentices direct their own development, promote opportunities for training and networking, as well as enhance representation within the workforce.
There are currently 35 apprentices working on the Campus Development Programme in a range of construction-related roles.
The Cabinet Secretary toured the Campus Development site and met with apprentices who work for the University’s Estates team, as well engineers, SES, and demolition company, Dem-Master.
The University of Glasgow is currently investing £1 billion in developing its estate over the next 10 years. This includes the construction of a new campus on the site of the former Western Infirmary in the West End of Glasgow.
Mr Mackay said: “Apprenticeships play a vital role in improving Scotland’s productivity by benefitting individuals, employers and the wider economy as a whole.
“It’s for this reason the Scottish Government is continuing to invest in apprenticeship opportunities, ensuring work-based learning is available to as wide a portion of the population as possible. Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to see the excellent work being done by our Apprentices, and the valuable experience they are gaining in their industries.
“As a government we have set an ambitious target of 30,000 new apprenticeship starts by 2020 - a target we are firmly on course to meet.”
Ann Allen, Executive Director of Estates & Commercial Services at the University of Glasgow, said: “Our Campus Development Programme is the largest construction project at the University in 150 years. As with all major construction projects, our success is reliant on recruiting new and diverse talent, with apprenticeships playing a key role in this.
“It is fitting that today, as we mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, our lead contractor, Multiplex, has committed to further improve the support we offer apprentices by convening the first Apprenticeship Committee on the Campus Development Programme.”
Ian Taggart, Multiplex Project Director, said: “Having joined the construction industry as an apprentice I understand the value in providing apprenticeships. The industry requires practical skills more than ever and I am pleased that Multiplex are able to support new apprenticeship opportunities through the Campus Development Programme.
Apprenticeships can offer potential for people to continue to develop they’re their skills and become industry leaders for the future.”